Second Round of Root Digs Done and what have we learned so far? July 26th, 2010

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Published July 26, 2010 | By admin


Yes – a wet year is full of stress too!


After digging roots that for 30 days maybe grew 7 inches from the first set of digs at 25 days after emergence we are scratching our heads for what the finish will look like in September. The corn suffered from lack of oxygen, soil N that got moved below the rootzone for those first 45 days, cool soils and stalled out corn – we were really concerned.


The weather pattern has dried out some and the corn is growing with decent days reaching 90-95 degrees the upper limits of corn gathering heat units.


We did observe that strip-till still yielded more roots in the five nodes below ground than that of the No-Till by 11 to 16% more. The depth of roots was very much restricted by the water table at 20 inches across the entire Orthman Farm for much of June into July. Hybrid selection, placement of fertility, fertilizer products – they all felt the restraints of high water table.


What can be done to have a positive spin on this wet feet problem? We think and have seen evidence that the slowed release N fertilizer products have benefits, N stabilizer products in the pre-plant season is an approach to consider, and then smart foliar applications of N to help feed these plants. Spending anyone’s fertilizer budget wisely within a Strip-Till program requires some planned flexibility. There is nothing given about growing corn folks, and we are seeing that in living color this year.




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